When Is Vaginal Bleeding Considered Abnormal?

Most of the time your periods arrive and end without much trouble. But if you’re like most women, vaginal bleeding outside your period — and heavier-than-usual bleeding during your period — can cause concern. 

At Kelly Morales, OB/GYN in San Antonio, Texas, Dr. Morales and our care team offer expert diagnosis and effective treatment for abnormal bleeding. Learn how to tell when vaginal bleeding is abnormal, when to schedule a gynecological appointment, and the treatments that can provide relief. 

Abnormal vaginal bleeding defined

Just like nearly all women get their periods, almost all women experience irregular or abnormal vaginal bleeding, like spotting between periods, at least once. 

Vaginal bleeding is considered abnormal any time you experience bleeding outside your regular menstrual period, when your period is heavier (or lighter) than what you’re used to, and when you have vaginal bleeding before puberty, during pregnancy, or after menopause. 

Most of the time, vaginal bleeding doesn’t mean you have a serious underlying health condition. For example, you can experience bleeding between your periods when you ovulate, if you have an intrauterine device (IUD), and when you’re taking certain medications, like birth control pills. 

Other causes of abnormal vaginal bleeding include:

Sometimes the underlying cause of abnormal vaginal bleeding may require medical intervention. For example, if your abnormal bleeding is caused by an STD, you may require antibiotics or another treatment to help stop the bleeding and ensure you don’t suffer from further complications. 

When you should see an OB/GYN for vaginal bleeding

If you’re experiencing unusual vaginal bleeding, including heavier- or lighter-than-usual menstrual bleeding, it’s time to schedule an exam with us at. Dr. Morales has the expertise needed to answer your questions and help resolve your symptoms.

At your appointment, Dr. Morales discusses your symptoms, reviews your medical history, and conducts a physical exam to help diagnose the cause of your bleeding and arrive at a treatment plan. She may order different types of diagnostic tests to help figure out the cause of your abnormal bleeding. 

Additional diagnostic tests or procedures depend on the findings of your initial exam and may include:

If you experience pain, fatigue, fever, or dizziness along with irregular vaginal bleeding, you may require emergency medical care. 

It’s important to remember that while abnormal bleeding is expected during perimenopause, the years leading up to menopause, bleeding after menopause is never normal and should be examined as soon as possible. If you’re a postmenopausal woman experiencing vaginal bleeding, schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience.

How we treat abnormal vaginal bleeding

Dr. Morales designs a customized treatment plan for your abnormal bleeding based on her diagnosis of the cause. Some types of abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as perimenopausal spotting, aer managed with treatments that help minimize or control the bleeding. 

These possible treatments include:

Other cases of abnormal vaginal bleeding may respond well to minimally invasive treatments, such as endometrial ablation or dilation and curettage (D&C) to destroy the uterine lining, which prevents future bleeding. In some cases, a hysterectomy with da Vinci® robotic surgery may be required.

If your abnormal vaginal bleeding is caused by something that requires ongoing treatment, such as cervical cancer, Dr. Morales connects you with gynecologic oncology experts to ensure you receive proper treatment.

If you have abnormal vaginal bleeding, contact our office in San Antonio, Texas, to schedule an appointment. You can reach us at 210-570-7277.

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